When you meet Stacy, a senior graphic designer who’s currently navigating the tech industry in Manchester, England, you wouldn’t immediately think “plant lover”. Yet beneath her professional exterior lies an ardent passion for greenery, a passion she not only nurtures but also unabashedly shows off in her little house adorned with a multitude of plants.
Stacy’s relationship with plants began in her childhood home where her mother, an enthusiast herself, instilled in her an appreciation for nature’s wonder. But it wasn’t until she had her own place, with ample light pouring in through large windows, that her interest blossomed into a hobby. Her first gardening venture was a memorable one. She transformed a simple patch of mud into a lush garden, boasting a beautiful flower bed and a verdant lawn. This transformation was not only a major achievement for Stacy but also a symbol of her innate connection with nature that continues to this day.
The First Green Steps: Beginning of a Lifelong Journey
While every plant lover remembers their first plant, Stacy’s first was more unique than most: a cactus affectionately named ‘Pickle’. This cactus has been with Stacy for as long as she can remember, now proudly standing at 1 meter tall in her mother’s house. But her real foray into diverse plant care began during her university years when her collection expanded to include common species like peace lilies, cacti, a dieffenbachia, and even a little chili pepper plant. It was during this period that Stacy honed her skills, learned through trial and error, and deepened her understanding of different plant needs.
The Heart of Her Collection: A Special Bond
With an ever-growing collection of plants, picking a favourite can be challenging. But one plant holds an unparalleled place in Stacy’s heart – the Maranta Leuconeura or ‘rabbit’s foot’ maranta. This plant, a cutting from her mother’s original maranta, holds a special significance for Stacy. It’s more than just a plant; it’s a living, tangible connection to her childhood memories and her mother’s own love for gardening. Through propagation, Stacy has multiplied this sentimental favorite, resulting in several maranta plants dotting her home, each a delightful reminder of her roots.
Green Challenges: Confronting the Pests
Even for experienced gardeners like Stacy, plant care is not without its challenges. Her biggest nemesis? Pests. Whether they are insidious spidermites or other damaging insects, pests are a perpetual menace, often striking when least expected. But Stacy is not one to back down. Over the years, she has devised a meticulous regimen for pest control, regularly inspecting her plants and acting quickly at the first sign of trouble. Her methods include a thorough clean-down and consistent application of neem oil until the plant is completely pest-free. It’s laborious, and there are no guarantees of success, but it’s a battle she’s willing to fight to protect her green companions.
Growing Wisdom: Lessons from the Green Trenches
Throughout her gardening journey, Stacy has picked up invaluable lessons. She shares this fundamental advice for both new and experienced plant parents: “The more plants die from overwatering than they do from underwatering.” This advice is a testament to Stacy’s philosophy that plant care is not just about the physical act of watering or providing sunlight but understanding the plant’s needs and adapting accordingly.
Green Influence: The Healing Power of Plants
Taking care of plants is more than a hobby for Stacy; it’s a meditative process, a daily ritual that calms her mind and recharges her spirit. Despite working in the fast-paced tech industry, Stacy finds solace in her quiet moments with her plants, reconnecting with nature and finding a balance in her busy life.
Busting Myths: The Truth about Misting
If there’s one myth that Stacy is eager to debunk, it’s the notion that misting plants is beneficial. Contrary to popular belief, misting can actually cause rot if water remains on the leaves for too long. While she admits that misting can be a fun activity, Stacy advises plant lovers to prioritize proper watering and care over such practices.
Plant Resources: Building a Community
Stacy finds inspiration and guidance in the online plant community. She recommends channels like Planterina, wildfern, Harli G, and Nick Pileggi on YouTube, also known as ‘Plantube’. Additionally, platforms like Reddit and Facebook serve as excellent sources for plant-related discussions and local community building.
Plants as Decor: Breathing Life into Spaces
When it comes to incorporating plants into home decor, Stacy has a simple mantra: plants aren’t part of the decor; they are the decor. Her home is a living testament to this belief, where each plant adds a unique touch of vibrancy and freshness.
Advice for Aspiring Plant Parents
For newcomers in the plant world, Stacy’s advice is simple: Start slow. Plant care is not a race, and it’s certainly not about the number of plants you own. It’s about the experience, the learning, and the unique joy that comes with nurturing a living being.
Specialist or Not: The Continuous Green Journey
Even with her extensive experience and knowledge, Stacy refrains from calling herself a plant specialist. She considers herself a hobbyist, someone who enjoys the process of learning, experimenting, and growing along with her plants.
If She Could Choose One Plant…
If she were to choose one plant for the rest of her life, Stacy’s pick would be a fast-growing pothos. Its rapid growth would allow her to trail it across walls and ceilings, creating an indoor jungle that keeps her connected with nature.
The Journey Ahead: Dreaming of a Green Future
Stacy’s plant journey continues to evolve. From her early days of learning plant care in her mother’s garden to her present day of nurturing a thriving indoor jungle, Stacy has come a long way. But she doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Her future plans involve expanding her online plant community on Instagram, moving to a larger space for her plant family, and even dreaming of owning a greenhouse one day.
Want to follow Stacy’s plant journey? You can join her green voyage @stacysjungle on Instagram and TikTok. Her story is a testament to the joys of plant care and the transformative power of greenery in our lives.